by Victor Lopez
The five year roller coaster ride that has been her life lately has came to a complete stop. After pleading guilty to possession of methamphetamines last year, Yolanda Madden had her final day in court. The smile on her face as she entered the court room only got bigger, when she found out she wouldn't be spending any more time behind bars.
As part of her plea agreement earlier this year, Madden was sentenced to time served. During her sentencing, U.S. District Judge Robert Junell referred to Madden's own statement to an Odessa Police Officer, admitting that she sold more meth than she used.
Madden was arrested in June of 2005 for possession with intent to sell and sentenced to prison. That verdict was vacated by Junell in December of 2009.
Madden, who said she had been set up by Odessa Police and was innocent, made a deal with the U.S. Government to plead guilty to the charges.
She says even though this wasn't the outcome she hoped for, she's glad it's all over and she has a message for others, who may find themselves in a similar situation.
"I say keep fighting. There comes a time when you've got to lay the fight down and put your priorities in order. I've got a family that I'm ready to get back to and I've got a life that I'm ready to start living, things that I want to start doing. That's what I'm getting ready to start doing today," Madden commented.
Madden says she hopes to go back to school and eventually get into the field of drug and alcohol abuse counseling.
Officials with the City of Odessa and the Odessa Police Department say, despite the false accusations made against them, Odessa Police officers are doing an excellent job protecting and serving the citizens in the community.
Police Chief Tim Burton says Madden's sentence puts a cap on the vindication of the conduct and behavior of the officers involved in the case and the burden of going through the case hasn't changed the way police handle their investigations.
City officials hope it doesn't tarnish their reputation.
According to Chief Burton, "I think that it has been proven, that the behavior of our officers was professional and forthright, with the highest level of integrity, throughout this matter."
"I'm glad that this is finally over, so we can put this behind us. The trust that the citizens have for the officers, for our police department, that needs to be real and I hope this puts it behind us," City Manager Richard Morton, said.
As part of her plea agreement, Yolanda Madden was sentenced to time served, 3 years supervised release and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.
Both Morgan and Burton said, while it's not their place to say whether the sentence was fair or not, they are pleased with the outcome.